The Digital Index of Middle English Verse
DIMEV 5793
IMEV 3656
NIMEV 3656
This world is full of variance
John Lydgate, ‘Beware of Doublenesse’ — thirteen eight-line stanzas (ababbcbc) with Envoy, each ending with the word, ‘Doublenesse’, plus one 8-line Latin stanza after envoy
Note: The Envoy alone occurs separately in two MSS (4120); non-source-specific edition is Wright and Halliwell-Phillipps (1845), 2.70.
Author(s): John Lydgate
Title(s): ‘Beware of Doublenesse’
Subjects: duplicity; mutability; dice; Fortune, complaint against; women, warnings to; envoys
Versification: — eight-line — ababbcbc

Manuscript Witnesses:
1.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Fairfax 16 (SC 3896), ff. 199-199*v
First Lines:
This worlde is ful of variaunce
In euery thing whoo taketh hede…
Last Lines:
…Sette on youre brest your self tassure
A myghty shelde of doublenesse
Norton-Smith, John. “Introduction.” Bodleian Library MS Fairfax 16. London: Scolar Press, 1979.
MacCracken, Henry Noble, ed. John Lydgate: The Minor Poems, Vol. II: Secular Poems. EETS o.s. 192 (1934); repr. 1961: 438-42.
Davies, Reginald Thorne. Medieval English Lyrics: a critical anthology. London, 1963; Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1964: 189-91.
Tydeman, William, ed. English Poetry 1400-1580. London: Heinemann, 1970: 30.
2.Source: Oxford, Bodleian Library Ashmole 59 (SC 6943), ff. 47v-48
First Lines:
This worlde is nowe full of al variaunce
In every thing who þat taþe gode hede
þat feyth and truste with sure constaunce
Exyled been right far it is no drede…
Last Lines:
…Sette on youre brest youre selff tassure
A mighty sheelde of doubulnesse
Note: Eleven stanzas (stanzas 8, 10 are missing).
Attributed Title: Nowe here foloweþe a balade made by Lidegate of wymen ffor desporte and game per Antyfrasim (f. 47v); Lenvoye with refrayde of doubulnesse (f. 49)
Black, William Henry. Catalogi Codicum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Bodleianae…Pars X, A…Catalogue of the Manuscripts bequeathed…by Elias Ashmole. Oxford: Clarendon, 1845: 61+2.
3.Source: London, British Library Harley 7578, ff. 17v2-18v
First Lines:
[T]his worlde is false of variaunce
In euery thinge whoo taketh hede…
Last Lines:
…Sett oon youre breste youre silfe to assure
A mighty shelde of doublenesse
Note: Initial ‘T’ is missing, with space left for illuminated initial.
4.Source: London, British Library Addit. 16165, ff. 252-253v
First Lines:
Þis worlde is ful of varyance
In euery thing who takeþe heed…
Last Lines:
…Set on youre brest youre self tassure
A mighty shelde of doublenesse
Attributed Author: By Lydegate (f. 252)
Attributed Title: Balade of wymen constance; Balade made by Lydegate (f. 252)

Print Witnesses:
1.Source: STC 5075. Chaucer, Geoffrey, The workes of Geffrey Chaucer, newlie printed, with diuers addicions, whiche were neuer in print before: with the siege and destruccion of the worthy citee of Thebes, compiled by Ihon Lidgate, Monke of Berie. As in the table more plainly doeth appere, [Imprinted at London: By Ihon Kyngston, for Ihon Wight, dwellyng in Poules Churchyarde], 1561
Anderson, Robert. The Works of the British Poets, or, Complete Edition of the Poets of Great Britain. 13 vols. Vol. 1. Edinburgh, 1793; London, 1795: 1.580.
Clarke, Charles Cauder. The Riches of Chaucer. London: T. Tegg, 1835, 1839: 2.307.
Chalmers, Alexander, ed. The Works of the English Poets from Chaucer to Cowper. London, 1810; repr. New York: Greenwood, 1969: 1.557-8.
Skeat, Walter William, ed. The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. 7 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1894-7: 7.291-4.